Redefining your new normal: How COVID disrupted business operations indefinitely
Updated: Oct 13
The ongoing Covid pandemic has had an irreversible impact on businesses. A large majority of the companies have seen their sales shrink considerably in size which has had a massive impact on the various other aspects of the business including operations. Several companies have had to completely shut shop while others who managed to stay afloat were working with a skeletal workforce. As per McKinsey, by 2025, COVID-19 will have cost the world anywhere between a massive $16 trillion and $35 trillion and while the small and medium businesses would struggle the most, larger corporations are not insulated from its impact.
What is also bound to change is how companies go about their daily operations – regardless if you are on a skeletal workforce on-site. While operations vary widely by industry, business leaders have one key thing in mind: to keep employees and customers safe and to ensure automation and digitalization takes over parts of businesses to improve efficiencies and reduce costs.
Your CIO is having sleepless nights – let's explore why
The challenges are manifold for the CIO grappling with the nuances of the 'new normal'. Evolving consumer expectations, shrinking margins, and black-swan events like complete lockdown dictate the need of the hour- digital transformation. The question the CIO hopes to answer is: How can digital transformation, ensure business continuity and help minimize the potential impact of a pandemic outbreak among other potential disruptions?
To answer this, let's understand what's changed in this New Normal.
Evolved stakeholder expectations: Driven by experiences in the consumer world, stakeholders (employees, customers, vendors, and suppliers) are demanding fast and engaging enterprise applications that go beyond providing merely a utilitarian experience. With work-from-home the norm now, employees expect more than one device for their tasks and expect enterprise applications to sync seamlessly across different form factors. Additionally, employees and partners demand that data be free, regardless of the boundaries imposed by legacy applications or disparate systems. They expect seamless integrations across applications due to API-driven experiences in the consumer world.
Business operations hitting new roadblocks: Beyond the core system and the ERPs, he is tasked with ensuring that the requests for business users are met and that all the existing gaps and automation requirements are catered to. Making the situation tricky is the fact that most organizations are dealing with shrinking budgets due to the current economic climate. Understandably, the focus for businesses is to survive and look to increase revenues without additional investment. From the CIO's perspective, he would need to re-examine the application delivery ROI in terms of both, dollars spent and the effort required.
Execution challenges: While legacy modernization continues to be among the top priorities for the CIO attempting to navigate the New Normal, he is also concerned with maintaining a manageable IT backlog. With the focus on improving efficiencies and providing an interoperable digital ecosystem for all the stakeholders concerned, the CIO is always on the lookout for alternatives to help him fast-track the digitalization initiatives. Couple this with the talent crunch where a shortage of skilled technical talent is at the back of his mind while deciphering his IT strategy.
No-Code MRO – helping the CIO better navigate the New Normal
If you fall in one of these industries – Diesel engines, facilities maintenance, heavy machinery and vehicles, HVAC equipment, industrial engineering, or marine vessels, you might consider deploying a No-Code MRO to help you with tackling the new normal. A structured approach that your CIO could deploy could potentially involve:
1. Take stock of existing core systems and identify the gaps- A good first step would be to identify the core systems and the systems which support the systems at the dept level. Once that is done, the CIO could identify key areas in the organization with little or no technology intervention. These would typically be the teams that are still doing a majority of their tasks without any kind of automation and mostly manually, giving rise to various inefficiencies. Once you have identified the gaps in the organization, it is now time to explore alternatives with which one might be able to plug the existing gaps in the IT ecosystem of the organization.
2. Subscribing to a No-Code MRO platform- The next logical step would be to plug those gaps with solutions. While you may be tempted to ask your IT to help develop it and to tailor it to suit your exact requirements or look for an off-the-shelf solution, a better alternative might be to subscribe to SaaS platforms which would help complement the specific requirement. Some of the benefits include seamless integration with the ecosystem which most SaaS platforms offer. Not to mention, they are cheaper than any of the custom development and offer a higher level of customizability against any off-the-shelf purchase alternative.
3. Use templates to roll out applications for identified operational gaps- Once you have identified the SaaS solution to subscribe to, you might want to roll out pre-built apps to plug in the identified gaps. The roll-out process includes training and change management, ensuring that the team members who would be using the app daily have been trained on the various nuances of the proposed application. If you are using a platform like QuickReach, pre-built templates would allow you to assemble and launch the app in a matter of hours, if not minutes. The existing templates are so intuitive and easy to use that it requires a minimum level of training for the end-users to incorporate in daily operations.
4. Custom build applications (workflows and databases)- Once you have rolled out applications using templates, it is now time to focus on specific areas where automation could complement human effort. This could perhaps be more unique to the industry your company functions in or perhaps even distinctly unique to your organization as well. These apps could be specific workflows that might need automation or databases with logic and a decision matrix built into them.
5. Integrate with internal and third-party systems- Now that most of your pressing requirements are in place, it's time now to integrate the newly launched applications into the existing IT infrastructure and even the legacy systems. Additionally, the business and the IT teams should optimize these new entrants to ensure that the defined automation is aptly placed across all layers in the newly created enterprise architecture. Completing this step would ensure that the organization is now up to date with digitizing internal operations as the ecosystem would allow data exchange between existing and new applications. Additionally, automation would ensure that any inefficient and error-prone internal processes are now replaced by automated applications and that department executives have reporting dashboards at their disposal ensuring real-time data available to make business decisions that would eventually propel growth.
6. Extend your digital systems to customers and partners for self-service- The final step would be to extend the applications that you develop to all stakeholders – suppliers, vendors, and even customers. The QuickReach No-Code MRO Suite would allow for an unlimited number of subscribers to the developed applications, implying that all stakeholders could now access the apps which the organization wants to extend to them for their use.
QuickReach No-Code MRO Suite – Building a digital enterprise for the New Normal
Despite having detailed business recovery plans in case of disasters, natural calamities or pandemic outbreaks such as the recent COVID-19 spread have brought companies to their knees. Almost all industries have taken a hit and regulatory policies have ensured that employees do not turn up for work in factories and offices. To reinforce business continuity, organizations must augment their manual system management processes and their existing disaster recovery methods with protection that's more comprehensive, which is where intelligent automation would be useful. Using QuickReach's No-Code MRO suite can help automatically perform service management workflows in times of uncertainty. Pre-built templates complemented with intelligent process automation workflows can be configured to make decisions independently based on business policies and impact. In the event where there is a need for human intervention, decisions can be made simpler with a tap of a button in response to notifications on mobile phones wherever the manager might be. Some of the immediate benefits which the QuickReach No-Code MRO suite would provide to your organization include:
Launching customized applications for technicians and service managers using templates
Streamlined processes – for internal and external stakeholders
Seamless integration with third-party tools
Minimized application disruption (to maintain business continuity)
Reporting for business decisions
Mitigated compliance risk
Connect with one of our customer success team here for a demo to gain a deeper understanding of how QuickReach's No-Code MRO solution would help your CIO be better prepared for a post-pandemic New Normal.